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“Broke” Kim Dotcom pushes for access to more of his frozen assets

By | Published on Monday 2 March 2015

Kim Dotcom

MegaUpload founder Kim Dotcom was back in court last week trying to secure more of the monies seized when his former company was shutdown by US authorities in 2012.

Prosecutors in America, and the US music and movie industries, have been keen for the MegaUpload cash pile to remain locked up even though the criminal and civil cases against Dotcom and his former company have been very slow going. The labels and studios argue that, if their civil litigation against MegaUpload is successful, that money will be needed to pay damages to copyright owners.

But Team Dotcom says that as the case against the MegaUpload founder progresses at a snails pace it is unfair to keep frozen all the assets that belonged to the MegaUpload company and Dotcom personally as of January 2012, not least because it prevents the always controversial entrepreneur from paying his legal bills, hindering his defence.

Having previously been granted around $15,000 a month from funds seized in New Zealand to cover living costs, Dotcom was back in court last week claiming to be “broke and destitute”, and pushing for an increase in his monthly allowance to $152,000, plus extra monies to cover legal fees of up to $3 million.

With his New Zealand legal team having quit Dotcom’s case last year because of unpaid fees, there may well be a strong argument to release a one-off lump sum to settle past legal bills, and to ensure the Mega founder’s new legal reps can be paid as he continues to fight efforts by the US to extradite him to face charges of criminal copyright infringement.

Though Dotcom critics will question his living costs claim, given that his “being broke” is the result of a seemingly lavish lifestyle, not to mention dabblings in new start-up businesses and some rather unsuccessful political adventures.

Prosecutors in New Zealand last week presented all the obvious arguments against Dotcom’s cash claim, which is further complicated by the fact he is currently separated from his wife Mona, and she controls a family trust that reportedly contains millions.